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Old 03-11-2013, 11:04 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Midwest
Ideas for Stems for plants I am taking apart and reassembling

I have some plants that as many of have come to discover contain metal. I like them as do my bettas so rather than trash them I am going to put them back together with aquarium sealant. I am try think of something aquarium safe to replace the stems. If have any ideas or have been doing this please let me know about your process. I will photograph my process for anyone interested.
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:39 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: NYC
I use all real plants, infact Ive never used plastic ones before.
However, Im sure a process journal will be very helpful to the community :)
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:32 AM   #3 
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I pretty much feel like taking care of the fish is enough. Live plants means more $$ on plants special lighting, plant food and changes in PH ect. It's been an investment already because I bought everything I should have and I still should make a first aid kit. I have some java moss which is easy. Maybe when I become more of betta fish expert I will consider live ones.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:32 PM   #4 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Well you could go for a couple of variants. It really all depends on how you want the "plants" to look like. You could make the stem out of small glass tubing to which you could glue the leaves on. You could also take small rigid plastic tubing and drill holes and attach the leaves.
Or the best option to make the plants look and act realistic is to use flexible plastic tubing such as air tubing (any tubing with a small diameter) for the stem. Now you could use the entire diameter of the tubing for the stem depending on how "fat" you want the stem to be or you could cut strips as to have a thinner stem. You could glue the leaves/foliage to the tubing or you could make small holes through the tubing and simply pass the foliage through it and attach it via friction (best option if you are unsure about the toxicity of the glue).

I have had to improvise in the past with equipment and decorations. The best way to inspire yourself is to look around your house or hardware/electronics/plumbing/science stores for anything that could be potentially used for the purposes you need. Often the simplest solution is the best.

Also a tip if you are trying to glue stuff together is to use tweezers as things for aquariums can be small and hard to manipulate with your hands.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:56 AM   #5 
Blue Fish
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: East Tennessee
I started using silk plants a few months ago, as I was unable to find aquarium-specific plants that fit my themes. (I've done african safari, light houses, cherry blossom trees/asian, frog pond, and "two roads in a yellow wood", so I wanted something different than the usual underwater plants readily available.) So, I've dealt with this problem. :)
Some silk plants can be purchased with thick, plastic stems that don't have metal in them. These are perfect for crafting trees or other things you want to "stand up" in the tank. You can attach leaves or flowers or whatever else you like on there with hot glue (works for a bit, is non-toxic, but will eventually need to be reglued) or with aquarium sealant (which should hold them more permanently, and is also non-toxic).

Also, to create layers of foliage in your tank, you can tie them to the sides (clip them on with clothes pins or even tape them to the outside of the tank), allowing whatever length of plain ribbon you want to determine how high up you want the plants to float. Same with suction cups. Just suction cup the plant to the side of the tank. I've used narrow silk ribbon in white, and never had a problem with it leaching dye or anything into the tank.

Also, some terrarium plants are actually cheaper, give more foliage, and all are aquarium safe, so you can get more "bang for your buck" in terms of plants. And, many of these come with their own suction cups and stick on the sides.

One other thing...and I'm sure I may get some people jumping on me for saying it...but I have, on occasion, left the metal "stems" in the plants. IF you do this, make *certain* that the metal is completely enclosed in plastic or aquarium sealant, so it's not rusting and leaching nastiness into your water. Also, I've ONLY done this with "stems" and not any part of the plant that will be places where betta will be swimming or resting in. (IE, I'll leave the metal in the "trunk" of the tree, removing it from all "branches", so the only stiff part of the plant is that which is going straight up and down, and is not something that betta can get trapped between, or where he's going to be sleeping or swimming *through*, only around.) Mine have never had any issues with this, no torn fins, anything of that nature.

Also, if you use store-bought silk plants, make sure to wash them well, and to soak them for some time to make sure that the dye isn't going to leach out, and that they're safe for fishies. :)

Good luck to you, and I hope this helps!! :D
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:07 PM   #6 
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Hygrophila corymbosa grows pretty fast in low-med light setting and they can take over a tank fairly fast.

anacharis is a low light floater that grows fast and bushy with the new shoots. Both are stem plants and can be planted as well.

no luck with my wisteria and OFL said it could be my nitrate levels.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:17 PM   #7 
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I started on my first plants. I have a taller stiff grass type plant that came in a Marina pack that actually in my opinion is too sharp to stand in the open in a betta tank. So I am cutting the grass blades off to insert inside the stems (metal removed). They won't be a hazard to the fish with the way I am using them. I have pictures once I have the completed product I will post them.
Thanks for some of the ideas I will try some of them too. Stay tuned. Would love some of your pictures of your finished products too!
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